Madness: Passage to Consciousness

November 5, 1996

"The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one's mind, is the condition of the normal man." R. D. Laing [1]

A paradoxical dipolarism, a complementing and opposing at the same time, is a systemic archetype in nature, for example, as it occurs in electric and magnetic dipoles and in quantum behavior. What happens when one tries to isolate one pole and ignore the existence of the other? Matter and spirit, the literal and the symbolic, seem to be inherently inseparable. In 279 BC. as the Celtic leader Brennus conquered Delphi, he is said to have laughed aloud in seeing that the Greeks had personified the Gods in human forms in their temples. To the Celts, the Gods were the Deus Absconditus, the hidden spirit in matter and nature, emergent in many different forms but which could in no way be characterized in the immutable form of a human personage.

Ronald Laing's lament, above, is the lament of over two thousand years of western culture which has sought to convert the dipoles of nature into unipoles, to embrace matter while eschewing it's complex aspect, to deal only in literal concepts and avoid symbolism. In other words, to deny our own consciousness.

The study of high performance, creative teams leads one, unavoidably, into the question of the literal and the symbolic in communications, to the dipolar aspects of value and self. Both appear to manifest themselves in the form of a complex variable or rotating dipole of the form A = Ar + i*Ai. The value produced by a team, as discussed in "Complexity and the "Learning Organization" come in the dual form of material and latent value (V = F +i*C), and the "Self" or consciousness of the team comes in the form of material-causal behavior and "experience" (S = B + i*E).

Laing's point is that we are, at great pain and expense, denying our own experience (i*E), and like the Greeks who drew laughter from Brennus, deifying nature's material "pole" and eschewing the Deus Absconditus, or hidden order, in nature. Madness or the psychotic episode, can be viewed somewhat as the manic feast of a consciousness which has been too long on a material-literal diet and deprived of the latent-symbolic (creative) complement; a dipole which has put one of its poles, the hidden order in matter, into forced exile. Thus the title of this note.

If there is a question concerning the link between the title of this essay and high performance teams, the answer is that the thread of reasoning which winds through this series of essays can find no passages which avert the issue of the cultural norm, the implicit platform from which we establish relative "good" or relative "bad". What is sought for in these explorations is a view of "learning organizations" which transcends culture, since there is much to suggest that culture, at least our current-day western culture, is an inhibitor of the "learning organization". A constraining culture, as Wittgenstein, Heraclitus and many others have noted, is what removes our childlike simplicity and honesty in viewing the world and blinds us to the "splendor in the grass".

Our current predicament, viewed in this context, gives meaning to Laing's comment; "Can we not see that this voyage is not what we need to be cured of, but that it is itself a natural way of healing our own appalling state of alienation called 'normality'"?"

* * *

In those relatively rare instances when people "work" really well together, when openness, honesty, trust and sharing prevail and where people's potentials are being actualized to the practical maximum, they leave "normality" behind by such a margin that it recedes into the distance, looking like a lunar surface or the bottomless pit from Milton's Paradise Lost. No-one who has experienced these heights ever wants to return to a definition of normal which Laing says; "... is a product of repression, denial, splitting, projection, introjection and other forms of destructive action on experience. It is radically estranged from the structure of being." The "abnormal" experiential state in the high performance creative team, whether in art, science or business, seems to open the door to an expanded and more natural consciousness.

If Laing is anywhere near on target with respect to how far we've gone astray, and there are many well-respected psychiatrists who support him on this (e.g. including; Thomas Szasz [2], John Weir Perry [3], C. Michael Smith [4]), then a first order assessment of the error in our perspective can be made by simply accepting as the replacement norm, the perspective of those on the inside of the mental hospitals. While this might be a shocking thought initially, further reflection indicates that it may not be all that bad of an idea, as this particular thread of reasoning suggests in its further stages of development.

In keeping with Argyris' [5] contention that we are in need of "double loop" learning in dealing with today's complex issues, then, our goal of developing a better understanding of "learning organizations" requires us to question the appropriateness of our so-called "normality" reference, including questions of this choice between a "unipolar" or "dipolar" view of nature.

The groundwork for this questioning has already been laid in "Complexity and the 'Learning Organization'", "Holons and Glyphs" and "A Mathematical Model for Consciousness", which appear elsewhere in some corner or another of this web page.

The first of these essays suggested a "dipolar" structure to social collaboration in that value was engendered both by a "fabricative" or "material-causal" assembly of real outputs (F), and by "creative" or "latent-emergent" value-creating processes (C). In simple terms, teams produce real measurable output, but they also produce a shared knowledge base, and an "esprit-de-corps" which constitutes latent, rather than tangible value; value from which tangible value can later emerge. The total value that a team produces (V) can therefore be represented as a complex variable; V = F + i*C. One of the implications of this form of representing value is that it accounts for situations where there is a "phase difference" between tangible and latent value.

"Normality" comes into play with respect to how it has us assess or value people, behavior and experience in productive social interactions. That is, "normality" can be seen as having to do with how we "realize" value as expressed by "V = F + i*C". What people mechanically "fabricate" (F) is the product of their literal "behavior" (B), while the ideas which they create (C) form out of the synthesis of their accumulated experience (E).

Thus in looking at the "value" of social interaction (teamwork) in the sense of "who we are", rather than in an economic sense, it would appear that "self" (S) or identity can be inferred by the dipolar properties of behavior (B), and our experiences from which those behaviors emerge (E); thus, S = B + i*E. We now have a "mapping" from the value of teams to the value of "self". Are these simple equations smoke and mirrors or are they meaningful. In answering this question, it is useful to refer back to the comments of Poincare and Wittgenstein. Mathematical models are simply abstractions of the mind which nature is not obliged to follow, they are like a ladder which we use to climb up to get a better view of things; a ladder which is subsequently recognized as a nonsensical thing which we no longer need.

Right now, as we work out of our rational, mechanical "F" mode to interpret these words on this electronic document, we need models which help to remind us of several important things; that behavior emerges out of experience and tangible "products" emerge out of creativity. Words, such as "behavior" and "experience" cannot directly convey this, as we discussed in "Holons and Glyphs", because they are too "uni-dimensional", too literal and too much lacking in symbolic content. The use of complex variables gives that extra (symbolic) dimension needed to describe the other, "imaginary" experiential (E) space from whence behavior emerges or the other "imaginary" creative (C) space from whence tangible "products" emerge. So the complex variable is a "device" which helps to keep this type of relationship or "order" consistently managed while we are in our fabricating mind-mode.

Now we are just about equipped with the needed tools to explore "normality". We need a few more words from Laing before we proceed;

"People may be observed to sleep, eat, walk, talk etc. in relatively predictable ways. We must not be content with this kind of observation alone. Observation of behavior must be extended by inference to attributions about experience. Only when we can begin to do this can we really construct the experiential-behavioral system that is the human species."

As we noted in "Complexity and the 'Learning Organization'", the cultural norm has been to look no farther than the "real" component of V = F + i*C, at the "fabricative" output of a team. And as we may now note, the cultural norm has been to look no farther than the "real" component of S = B + i*E, at the behavioral attributes of a person, and not at the deeper "experiential space" from which behavior emerges.

The "normal" approach to problem solving in western culture, whether the problem involves "inanimate matter" or human systems, is the four step approach of Descartes' as advocated (very successfully) in his "Discours de la methode...";

1. "Le premier était de ne concevoir jamais aucune chose pour vraie que je ne la connusse évidemment pour telle, c'est-à-dire d'éviter soigneusement la précipitation et la prévention..."

["The first of these was to accept nothing as true which I did not clearly recognize to be so: that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitation and prejudice ..."]

2. "Le second de diviser chacune des difficultés que j'examinerais en autant de parcelles qu'il se pourrait et qu'il serait requis pour les mieux résoudre."

["The second was to divide up each of the difficulties which I examined into as many parts as possible, and as seemed requisite in order that it might be resolved in the best manner possible."]

3. "Le troisième de conduire par ordre mes pensées en commençant par les objets les plus simples et les plus aisés à connaître, pour monter peu à peu comme par degrés jusques à la connaissance des plus composés... "

["The third was to carry on my reflections in due order, commencing with objects that were the most simple and easy to understand, in order to rise little by little, or by degrees, to knowledge of the most complex..."]

4. "Et le dernier, de faire partout des dénombrements si entiers et des revues si générales que je fusse assuré de ne rien omettre".

["And the last was in all cases to make enumerations so complete and reviews so general that I sould be certain of having omitted nothing."]

Apparently, we have taken this advice of Descartes so well to heart that we look upon the development of understanding of ourselves and others in this same mechanical context. This mechanical causal view of the world denies human consciousness and conscience experience. It tells us; (1) don't trust anyone unless they first prove the truth of their statements, (i.e. "we come from Missouri") (2) don't assess people on the basis of inference of "where they're coming from" or an overall synthesis, judge them on behavioral specifics, (i.e. after all, "the path to hell is paved with good intentions") (3) build your assessment of others piece-by-piece, from the visible particulars of their attributes and behaviors (i.e. you can measure a man by his clothes), and (4) be exhaustive in both the breadth and specificity of your assessment of others (i.e. it is no accident that while the early etymology of the word "care" is "affection or liking", the modern usage is "attentiveness to detail, meticulousness, pains, scrupulousness")

Clearly, these Cartesian "rules" do not constitute a recipe for "love at first sight". They are more reminiscent of literalist Christianity and a tyrannical God, of films such as "Deliverance" or of racial conflict in the southern US, than, for example, of the Islamic or Buddhist "way" (Although fundamentalist Islamic movements appear to be shifting towards this same type of Cartesian "literalism").

We joke about our addiction to this unidimensional view of people, based on material-causal behavior, however, we remain in its grip;

"Pig", she yelled at him from her pastel convertible as she whizzed past his pickup going in the opposite direction. "Bitch", boomed back his response, with scarcely a moment's hesitation. "Shit", was his next utterance as he hit the pig running loose on the road, concealed by the bend in the road that the "bitch" had emerged from.

There seems to be no shortage of evidence suggesting that "normality" in current western culture, as Laing suggests, associates with a mechanical, Cartesian view of the world. A view which takes a "literalist" look at the "behavior" of things and people, ignoring the experiential "space" from which behavior emerges. Normality is looking at a tree according to its inventory of parts; roots, trunk, branches leaves, and its seasonal and weather-related behaviors, ignoring inference on the tree's experiential space, the source of its appearance and behavior, how it has reached through the soil to seek out moisture and nutrients, how it has transported these nutrients to its leaves to be cooked by the sun into new materials, how it releases oxygen, its own surplus, to a shared resource pool, i.e. "atmosphere" to help nurture other forms of life such as humans.

Normality is about looking at people according to their inventory of parts, and their situational behaviors, it is not about inference on the person's experiential space, from whence their demeanor and behaviors emerge. That is, it is not about inferring how they may have interacted with others to garner the strength to keep moving forward, nor how their consciousness and creativity has engaged with others' to nurture and sustain their own and other's personal growth. Normality appears to be about a very "literalist" and "dis-connected" view, i.e. an "unconscious view" of people and things.

As Laing points out, "It is tempting and facile to regard "persons" as only separate objects in space, who can be studied as any other natural objects can be studied. But just as Kierkegaard remarked that one will never find consciousness by looking down a microscope at brain cells or anything else, so one will never find persons by studying persons as though they were only objects.

"Normality" in western culture most often implies a Cartesian, object-oriented view of people. It is one-dimensional and sees people in an isolated object context. It captures only their material-causal behavioral profile and does not capture their latent-emergent experiential value (i.e. normality ignores the i*E in the relationship S = B + i*E). This unconscious perspective (experiential system) tends to engender an unconscious "dog-eat-dog" reality (behavioral system).

In "Holons and Glyphs" and in "The Mathematical Model of Consciousness", the point was made that the mechanical perspective is not our only choice for developing an understanding of the world around us. "Bootstrapping" is the term for the most promising method that science currently sees for developing a unified understanding of nature. "Bootstrapping" is all about looking at interference patterns. It is about building a web of self-consistencies in our minds (into our mental models of reality), much like a hologram, into which we can "plug-in" the specifics of a situation so as to understand them in context with the whole. Bootstrapping equates to consciousness.

More than this, it is through bootstrapping that we appear to develop our sense of self. As Laing says; "In a science of persons, I shall state as axiomatic that: behavior is a function of experience; and both experience and behavior are always in relation to someone or something other than self." One could easily interpret this psychology-framed remark as a statement on the interfering wave nature of our reality, in which the future emerges through new behaviors born of past experience (interactions).

There is no solid ground to build up from in such a view of reality. Instead we are speaking of a conscious world with no beginning and no end; a world characterized by the "endless knot" of the Celts (creation was not part of their myth), and by the non-periodic nature of nonlinear phase space trajectories. "Non-periodic" means "never repeating"; never repeating means "no beginning and no end".

How do we, ... how does anything develop a sense of "self" in such a world (apart from inventing a god to create a beginning platform from which to causally assemble an identity?). There appears to be only one way, by "bootstrapping" one's identity out of a web of inter-relationships of the type described by Laing, which feed back on themselves continuously. As the complexity researchers say, by the simple iterative equation x(n+1) = F(x(n)) where the "x" in our case, is "self" (S) as given by S = B + i*E and where "F" is some nonlinear function describing the nature of the interaction.

Now in a consciousness that has no beginning and no end, based on recursive feedback in which vintage (time-stamped) wholes are contained within each of the parts, one can potentially gain access to, and feel part of, all prior experience. This sounds pretty mystical and magical, and while the Celts and the North American Indians were comfortable with it, it seems that our western culture preferred the simplifications of Aristotle, which emphasized the brick on brick fabrication of everything, the exclusive focus on the "real component of a complex reality, whose conceptual corollary is a world which is finite and closed, both in space and time.

So if all of the above is "normality", what is "madness". What does Laing mean when he refers to "psychotic episodes" as "a natural way of healing"? What does he mean as he speaks of a patient in a psychotic episode; " ... But he trusted his experience of having entered into a state of more, not less reality, of HYPERsanity, not subsanity."

Laing's argument is consistent with nonlinear science. It is that you cannot look on a person as a separate individual since one's "self" is not just the package of material-causal behaviors which characterize the individual (such a distinction is impossible in an interconnected world), but also the experience which emerges from the recursive synthesis of our interactions with others. In other words, the "self" appears to be "dipolar" and complex, as suggested above.

In the case of people, as in the case of electrons, we have a choice of looking upon them as the sum of their non-overlapping behaviors (the "real" component of the "self") or as the creative experience emerging from their interactions with other, "independent" individuals (S = B + i*E). Seen in this way, the "self" is a complex variable, a dipole which can oscillate, re-orienting itself from one state to the other.

So when we speak of our culture being unconscious or mechanical, this equates to considering ourselves and others only on the basis of their "real", behavioral aspects, ignoring their complex conscious experiences. By denying the role of conscious experience in ourselves and others, we bring on this state of normality, "the condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one's mind".

In madness, in the Celtic tradition, in the Shamanic rites of North American Indians and other cultures, the common thread is the entry into the "otherworld", a consciousness which is associative and timeless, where we can "re-boot" the neglected experience of the whole.

If we accept the concept of bootstrapping, then we accept that a meaningful mental model can be built out of a web of self-consistent, holodynamic interrelationships. If we accept that we as individuals can build consciousness out of such a web, through our interactions with others, then it would appear to follow that such a process has no bounds in time or space, since this interconnecting recursion can go on forever.

What caused us to alienate our own consciousness; a state which led to Freud's insight and demonstration [1] "that the ordinary person is a shriveled, desiccated fragment of what a person can be"?

In my note "SKY_CLOCK_GODS", Blake's hypothesis was presented, that we had misinterpreted the metaphorical deification of nature, by taking literally the personifying of aspects of nature in the form of Gods. With Gods in place as external controllers, science now had a duty to stay within doctrine. Descartes, in the paragraphs immediately preceding his four points on "method", deliberated on what to include in his method, from the fields of logic, mathematics, geometrical analysis and algebra. The conclusion he came to, he stated as follows; "And as a multiplicity of laws often furnishes excuses for evil-doing, and as a State is hence much better ruled when, having but very few laws, these are most strictly observed; so, instead of the great number of precepts of which Logic is composed, I believed that I should find the four which I shall state quite sufficient, provided that I adhered to a firm and constant resolve never on any single occasion to fail in their observance. The first of these ..."

And from "The Celtic Tradition" [6], "How we came to lose this insight [myth and magic; i.e. "hidden order"] is the history and cause of our present misfortunes, of our fractured and fragmented existence which is out of harmony with the natural laws. For the gods are nothing but the forces of those laws in manifest form, and the magic of the aos dana is their gift and means of communication between themselves and humankind."

If madness is the passage back to our forgotten consciousness, as the title of this essay suggests, a sejour at a mental hospital is not the sole travel itinerary. What our culture does accept is the "madness" we experience each night in our dreams. John Weir Perry says [3]; "We are not all dismayed to know that in our sleep we do the most shocking things: we hallucinate vividly, seeing people and hearing voices to which we respond; we merge the past and the future; the dead live, and we die and live again, and all manner of irrational events take place. Especially when dreams are symbolic and mythological they seem even more preposterous. Yet such dreams can be the surest guide in psychotherapy, and outside therapy they can influence people's lives profoundly."

In conclusion, while Brennus mocked the stupidity of trying to reduce nature's dipolar dynamic to static unipolarity, by rendering the "gods in nature" (i.e. emergent order) in material-causal form, we appear to have been doing just that for over two thousand years, and have had to invent a tyrannical God and an associated "controlling" infrastructure to enforce the process.


Timeline of Events Relative to the Cultural "Dipolar to Unipolar" Bifurcation

The following events portray the neutering of consciousness in the west commencing with the shift from sacred-driven symbolic language to economics-driven mechanistic language, and a corresponding shift from the dipolar holism of Heraclitus to the unipolar reductionism of Aristotle.

1250 BC: The Phoenicians are credited with the development of a phonetic language which departs from the tradition of pictographs or glyphs. The phonetic language, driven by economic (trading) needs employs linear logic (bottom-up build) and thus departs from the nonlinear synthesis associated with communications based on grouped pictographs. This is a major milestone in the removal of the "symbolic" from western culture.

600 BC: Celts spread across Western Europe in the iron age, establishing a pre-Platonic culture in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Basque Country etc. These Celts deified nature, however, their concept of Gods was metaphorical, with the Gods metamorphosing into various forms. This strain of Celts had no creationist myth and they believed that reality involved the subtle interplay between things. The endless knot of these Celts was reminiscent of the nonlinear fractal trajectories of today. The Celts in Ireland avoided the "linear socialization" propagated by the Romans.

500 BC: Heraclitus was in his prime at this time, and believed that the world was in a continual state of (nonlinear) flux (one can never step into the same river twice). Heraclitus believed in a natural inherent "coherency" underlying the emergence of all things (the Logos), a view which is very much consistent with quantum physics of today. The game of Hurling was played both in Greece and in Ireland at this time, a game which cultivates a particularly strong balance between mechanical and creative cognitive modes, and may hold some of the secrets to the deeper nature of our dipolar cognitive capabilities.

500 BC: Darius I and Heraclitus were contemporaries. "His [Heraclitus] approximate date is fixed by a synchronism with the reign of Darius, 521 to 481 B.C.; ..." [7]. This period marked the last period that hieroglyphics remained an "official" writing media. Darius used hieroglyphics to commemorate the digging of canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, "and it is probable that he intended Persians therein to be taught the Egyptian language and the art of writing in Egyptian hieroglyphs." [8] Of interest here is how hieroglyphics, controlled by the Egyptian priests and regarded by the Greeks "as a system of religious symbols of mystical character, each of which possessed an esoteric meaning" [7], was superseded shortly after Darius by the Greek language (based on the Phoenician alphabet) which was strongly propagated by Greek mercenaries and traders. Thus, there was not only a switch from the bootstrap to the reductionist philosophy in written communications, the stewards of the written language shifted from the priesthood to the business sector. Both the sacred and the symbolic disappeared from the written mode of communication in one fell swoop, just as had occurred in Greece roughly 150 years earlier [9].

Heraclitus' writings, while in Greek, incorporated the bootstrap principle "in his tantalizing and suggestive form of enigmatic utterance" [7] (as did Wittgenstein's in the 20th century). "The literary effect he aimed at may be compared to that of Aeschylus' "Oresteia": the solemn and dramatic unfolding of a great truth, step by step, where the sense of what has gone before is continually enriched by its echo in what follows." "Here as elsewhere we find that the characteristic achievement of Heraclitus lies in articulating a view within which the opposites can be seen together as a unity. For Heraclitus there will be no conflict between the selfish and the social conception of arete, since the deepest structure of the self will be recognized as co-extensive with the universe in general and the political community in particular."

Thus this period of Darius and Heraclitus, subsequently truncated by the rise of linear rationality in both message and medium, marked the end of an era in western culture in which the symbolic and sacred was woven into the mode of communications (as opposed to being an option of content). "Communications is seen as a fundamental force in society, and changes in the mode of communications are taken as the central catalyst, altering both social and individual relations; 'the medium is the message' (Oswyn Murray in "Early Greece", citing 'the Toronto School' [9])

400 BC Plato, Socrates and Aristotle made major inroads in thinking at this time. Aristotle's popularization of syllogistic logic (linear logic) was hugely influential and remains so to this day. Not until 1931 (Goedel's Theorem) was the consistency of this logical base shown to be incomplete, and this result has still not worked its way into mainstream awareness. The impact of Aristotelian logic was that people began to believe that material-causal logic provided a full and complete view of reality. This date marks the beginning of a strong shift towards the belief in an unconscious, mechanistic reality.

279 BC: When the Celt Brennus attacked Delphi, he is said to have laughed at the Greeks for representing their Gods in human form (in the temples). To the Celts, the gods could not be "pinned down" and could morph into many different forms. The gods were seen as the manifest forms of natural forces. While Brennus laughed, this turned out to be no joke.

0 BC: Christ as a prophet, made a huge impact on the world. The later interpretation of his beliefs and his works have been made in a symbolic or allegorical context by some, and a literal context by others.

1167 - 1329 AD: The Cathars (Albigensians) of the Pyrenean region of Southern France were systematically besieged and exterminated, over a period of 160 years, by an alliance of the Church and the French Royalty. The Cathars were judged heretical, not because they did not believe in Christ, but because they believed that his works (e.g. miracles) and teachings (e.g. the Eucharist) were symbolic and allegorical rather than literal and "real". They were thus judged as a threat to both the Church and, because of their "nonlinear" and independent views, a threat to the linear hierarchical economic system (i.e. feudal system) in France. The last mass burning of Cathars took place in Carcassonne in 1329. [10]

1543 AD: Copernicus "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium", his heliocentric view of earth and sun was published on his deathbed, and mandated a massive rethink of the role of God and Man in the universe. Some of the literalist interpretations of religious thinking have to be transformed back into symbolic versions.

1632 AD: Galileo comes out in support of the Copernican model over the Ptolemaic model in "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems". He was brought before the Inquisition in 1633 and forced to renounce this support. The Church was very sensitive to maintaining the public image of literal integrity in their teachings, particularly with respect of anthropocentricity (after all, man was God's creation) and Aristotelian logic (this was a "natural" or God-given mandate for hierarchical controls).

1633 AD: Descartes, on hearing that all copies of Galileo's "Dialogue ..." had been burned in Rome, and that Galileo had been condemned to pay some penalty, suppresses his non-Aristotelian treatise "Le Monde" [11]. Only a small fragment of it emerged after his death. Descartes was extremely conscious of the dangers of going against the church and made it known that he was not going to join the ranks of the philosophers of the previous century; Ramus, Bruno, Campanella and Vannini who had ventured to question the accepted physical doctrines and suffered for it.

1637 AD Descartes comes out with his "Discourse on Method ...". He remarks that "And as a multiplicity of laws often furnishes excuses for evil-doing, and as a State is hence much better ruled when, having but very few laws, these are most strictly observed; so, instead of the great number of precepts of which Logic is composed, I believed that I should find the four which I shall state quite sufficient, provided that I adhered to a firm and constant resolve never on any single occasion to fail in their observance."

Descartes "method" which is pervasive in business and society today, was clearly strongly influenced by cultural considerations. While we may never know his true thoughts, it was clear that Descartes saw the possibility of making a major impact on science without running into conflict with the church, by viewing the physical world as mechanistic and fully divorced from the mind (the realm of God). Since nonlinear phenomena such as living matter could not be understood from the mechanistic Cartesian viewpoint, and since what was not mechanistic was the domain of God, Descartes essentially "locked out" science from addressing the fundamental questions of life and evolution.

1687 AD: Isaac Newton published his "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica". Although it is argued that his insight on gravity included the consist ordered pattern of interaction of material bodies, his formulation (F = g*m1*m2/d**2) was mechanistic. The inclusion of the regular, ordered pattern of movement of multiple bodies due to gravity would have taken him beyond the Cartesian framework into the preserve which Descartes had set aside for God. An approach which would have generated a lot more flack than sticking with the Cartesian framework. Thus, the domain of the nonlinear (dipolar) is once again excluded from the popular theory.

1692 AD: Salem Witch trials. By now, messing around with nonlinear stuff beyond the mechanistic, material causal world of Descartes and Newton was definitely off limits. What was praised and encourage in Celtic tradition had become a serious crime in Puritan America.

1790 William Blake's "Marriage of Heaven and Hell" (bringing the poles back into a dipole) maintained that the early poets had deified the forces of nature by personifying these forces in human form. Later the priesthood had taken this metaphorical intent literally, and the Gods began to be seen as external forces in themselves. Blake saw in Milton's poetry that we were alienating ourselves from natural force by the schism between good and evil heaven and hell, dictated by a tyrannical God born of mechanistic literalism.

1859 Darwin's "Origin of Species", representing nature as a continuously evolving process, reintroduced the notion of an emergent rather than a fabricated world. It is only in the 1990's however that the notion of nonlinear feedback is being added to the concepts of (a) reproduction with heredital variants, and (b) natural selection determined by environmental fitness. In any case, the notion of the controlling God and creation is terminally eroded, and the nonlinear aspect of evolution opens the door to the return of dipolar concepts in nature.

1903 AD: Poincare's "La Science et l'Hypothese" points out that the fallacy of confusing mathematical models with natural reality. Poincare's work on the 3 body problem and other forms of deterministic chaos are the first major reintroduction of nonlinear theory into the mainstream of science since the time of Heraclitus, 500 B.C.

1915 - 1927 AD: Causality and mechanistic view of the world are challenged by the general theory of relativity (Einstein) and quantum mechanics (Heisenberg, Shroedinger, Bohr). Quantum behavior experiments suggest a dual or dipolar nature to matter depending on how we "look" at it.

1931 AD: Kurt Goedel's theorem that all finite mathematical systems were incomplete shocked the mathematics world and suggested that there was widespread exposure to false inferences in complex systems which utilized linear (unipolar) Aristotelian logic.

1963 AD: Lorentz at MIT rediscovers deterministic chaos while studying convection cells in meteorological context. Very little attention has been paid to nonlinear science between the time of Poincare and the Lorentz's discovery. Cultural suppression of the latent or symbolic component of matter appeared to be alive and well during this period.

1967 AD: R. D. Laing, in "The Politics of Experience" suggests that the mechanistic view of the world, including people, is alienating people from their experience, promoting unconsciousness and falsely legitimizing aberrant behavior as normality.

* * *

[1] Laing, R. D., "The Politics of Experience", 1967

[2] Szasz, Thomas S., "The Myth of Mental Illness", 1974, "The Myth of Psychotherapy", 1978

[3] Perry, John Weir, "The Far Side of Madness", 1974

[4] Smith, Michael C., "Psychotherapy and the Sacred", 1995

[5] Argyris, Chris, "Education for Leading-Learning", 1993

[6] Matthews, Caitlin, "The Celtic Tradition", 1989

[7] Kahn, Charles H., "The Art and Thought of Heraclitus", 1979

[8] Budge, E. A. Wallis, "The Rosetta Stone", 1929

[9] Murray, Oswyn, "Early Greece", 1993

[10] Aue, Michele, "Le Pays Cathare", 1957

[11] Eaton, Ralph M., "Descartes Selections", 1927, Charles Scribner & Sons